Compressive Behavior of Mesoporous Silica Aerogels at High Strain Rates


Silica aerogel is the lightest solid on earth and has been considered for use in a variety of applications such as structural materials with good thermal/acoustic insulation capability. The actual applications, however, have been slow primarily because it is fragile. Recently, a crosslinking method has been developed to encapsulate silica aerogels to form a new class of aerogels called crosslinked silica aerogels (X-CSA). In this paper, we present results on the mechanical behavior of crosslinked mesoporous aerogels, MP4-X-1-T310. Using the newly developed SHPB, the mechanical behavior under impact for MP4-X-1-T310 was investigated at different strain rates. Pulse shaper was employed to achieve dynamic stress equilibrium and a constant strain rate under valid SHPB experiments. Results are compared with those of conventional engineering polymers, PMMA and PC Results indicate that the new templated aerogels have higher specific energy absorption than these conventional materials. In addition, due to the high porosity of the templated aerogels, the materials are absorbed by their pores during compression, making the templated aerogels an ideal multifunctional material for energy absorption and thermal/acoustic insulation. Using ultra-high speed camera, the dynamic deformation and failure behaviors of X-MP4-T310 were observed and discussed, which provides a comprehension understanding of the mechanical behavior for future structural application in armor systems.



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Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2007 Society for Experimental Mechanics, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007

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